Commentary

Wed
27
Apr

Notes from an Old Bible

“And the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” Matthew 27

Earthquakes are frequent in the Middle East. So, why should we pay attention to the sudden shaking at Calvary? Because of the timing and the fact that the eyewitnesses “were frightened”. His death was such a dramatic event that even the earth reacted to it. Not just in Jerusalem but the whole world. It’s amazing that although Israel rejected Him and the Roman authority crucified Him, creation always recognized Him. Waves obeyed Him, the water was turned into wine, fishes and bread multiplied at His touch, wind ceased at His command. So, it should be no surprise that the earth shook and trembled at the death of its Creator.

Wed
27
Apr

Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – About Payroll Tax and Income Tax on Social Security

Dear Rusty: Is it possible for you to go over how the Federal withholding tax is computed on Social Security benefits? Signed: Curious Taxpayer.

Dear Curious: I’m not sure if you’re asking about how FICA (or self-employment) tax on your earnings from work is determined, or if you’re asking about how much income tax to have withheld from your Social Security benefit, so I’ll address both:

Wed
20
Apr

Speaking Out for Louisiana Citizens

Speaking Out for Louisiana Citizens

LOWER AUTO INSURANCE

Trying to lower the cost of auto insurance is a touchy thing in Louisiana and perhaps that is why it is so high. Louisiana rates are 99% more expensive than the national average, “Amongst all the states, Louisiana is the most expensive state with an average auto insurance premium of $2,839 per year, a 19% increase in rates from 2020. On the other hand, Maine, with an average insurance premium of $858 a year, is the state with the cheapest car insurance rates.” When supporters of lowering the rates bring this up in the legislature opponents object and it hits the fan. One fellow testified that Louisiana drivers have twice as many wrecks and twice as many soft tissue injuries which leads to more litigation and thus higher rates. Some blame the courts and the trial lawyers and some blame the condition of our roads but one thing is for sure – our insurance rates are way too high and something must be done.

CHIT CHAT

Wed
20
Apr

Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – Will My Wife Get a Spouse Benefit When I Claim at 70?

Dear Rusty: My wife started receiving her social security at 65 (her full retirement age) and she will be 69 years old this July. I was able to receive half of her social security under an older law. This April, I will turn 70 and will start to receive my own Social Security. I know I will no longer be receiving a spousal benefit at that time, but what I don›t understand is will my wife be able to claim a spousal benefit and collect 50% of my Social Security. She presently is receiving about $930 but 50% of my social security could be around $1800. Can you provide any insight on this? Signed: Turning 70

Wed
20
Apr

On the Bright Side

In the captivating and impactful book, “Captive in Iran,” two young women, Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, had passed out Bibles to twenty thousand people in Iran. They knew the dangers, but felt it was worth the risks.

Years before, both women had a powerful conversion from Islam to Christianity, and both were passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

Converting from Islam to Christianity can be punishable by death in Iran.

At one point, Marziyeh was asked in a demanding tone, “You have an Islamic name. Your parents are Muslims. How can you be Christian?”

“With the Lord, anything is possible,” she replied, silencing the questioner.

Despite the known risks of being Christians in Iran, Maryam and Marziyeh also hosted two secret home churches in their apartment — one for young couples and another for prostitutes.

However, in 2009, Maryam and Marziyeh were arrested and imprisoned in Tehran’s notorious, brutal Evin Prison.

Wed
13
Apr

Speaking Out for Louisiana Citizens

Article Image Alt Text

NANCY PELOSI

Bill O’Reilly explained this week that Nancy Pelosi is now running again in November. He referred to the term about her as “battle-ax.” He also explained that she is technically, in his opinion, evil and here is why.

Nancy Pelosi publicly describes herself as a good Catholic. Yet she promotes abortion on demand for any reason at any time of pregnancy. She also attacks those who disagree with that radical left point of view. He stated that God will judge her position on the unborn, and I agree she spits in the eye of Catholic theology.

It was also pointed out that she is less than truthful, using her powerful position not to advance the welfare of Americans, but to hurt the nation. Walk around her devastated district in San Francisco where she lives lavishly behind guarded walls and you will see what he means. She gives politics a bad name, as well as Congress.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Wed
13
Apr

Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – About the Earnings Test and Taxation of Social Security Benefits

Dear Rusty: I’m 63, married, and we file a joint tax return. If I claim Social Security now and keep working and earn $7,000 more per year than the annual limit of $19,560, I know I’d have benefits withheld at the rate of $1 for every $2 over the limit ($3,500). But if I were to contribute $7,000 to a conventional (not Roth) IRA and take the deduction, would this reduce my earned income and eliminate the SS benefit withholding? And will such an IRA deduction help avoid taxation of my SS benefits if I am above the $32,000 taxation threshold for married - filing jointly? I’m trying to figure how much I can afford to earn while collecting Social Security benefits. Signed: Searching for Ways

Wed
06
Apr

Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – Should I Claim Early Due to Social Security’s Financial Condition?

Dear Rusty: I plan on retiring at 62, one year from now. I have been coached to (if financially possible) leave my Social Security earnings for my wife to collect in the future if I die, considering that she was a homemaker for the majority of her income earning years. My instinct is to get Social Security coming (I understand I›m settling for a lesser amount at age 62) as soon as possible considering the forecast of our government›s inability to fund Social Security for the rest of my life. No one has a crystal ball, and no one knows what our government will or will not be able to fund even into next week, so we weigh what we know and see, and then decide. Is my question clear? Signed: Skeptical

Wed
06
Apr

Letter to the Editor

To Daniel Jones:

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